Portage Township board approves salary hike

PORTAGE TOWNSHIP – The members of the Portage Township Board of Trustees took action Monday during their regular meeting to adjust what they’re paid for being members and for attendance at meetings.

Trustee John Ollila said for years, board members have been paid $65 per month. However, after looking at minutes from a board meeting in 1999, he found that board approved a motion to make the members’ pay $65 per meeting of whatever kind, with members getting paid even if they didn’t attend a particular meeting.

Ollila suggested from March forward, the members instead be paid a flat salary of $840 per year, or $70 per month, which he said was less expensive than the $65 per meeting approved in 1999. That suggestion was approved unanimously.

Ollila made another motion to pay trustees $30 for each board, special or committee meeting attended. That motion passed 6-1 with Treasurer Carol Little voting no because she wasn’t certain there was money in the budget to cover the expense.

Board members heard from Supervisor Bruce Petersen the board needed to make a contract with OHM Architects, Engineers and Planners for professional services to apply for a Department of Natural Resources Passport grant for further work at the Hurontown Recreation Area. The application is due April 1.

Petersen said the DNR awards the grants based on a points system, and a project to pave the parking area at the recreation area would provide the necessary points to be considered for the grant.

“What we’re trying to do is get success here,” he said.

The grant requires a 25-percent match, but Petersen said that match could be made in kind with equipment or personnel.

“That’s the beauty of it,” he said.

Petersen said continuing improvements at the recreation area is in keeping with the township’s master plan.

Members approved contracting with OHM for professional services 6-1 with Trustee Andrew Kemper voting no because he didn’t have time to thoroughly examine the proposal.

“We’re kind of in a bind because we have to approve it (to meet the April 1 deadline),” he said.

Work on the township website is continuing, but Petersen said before it can be completed, board members have to choose a logo for the site and township documents.

“This is sort of a pivotal creation,” he said.

The work on the website is being done by opusWeb.com of Hancock. Members looked at several logo designs, and chose one, which has the the township name, oak leaves and acorns in green and gold.

Petersen said the board also needs to choose a “tag line” for the website, which would also go on township documents.

Kemper suggested getting students at the Houghton-Portage Township School District involved.

In other business, members:

received from Petersen descriptions of jobs for all township employees to review and comment on.

approved a resolution to allow township residents to make written appeals to the Board of Review.

heard from Little the recent BOR assessment notices had some errors, including listing the multiplier at 1.027 instead of the correct 1.024. However, computations were done using the correct multiplier.